Vail Daily column: It’s all about the journey |

Vail Daily column: It’s all about the journey

Aldo Radamus

Becoming a competitive skier or snowboarder is truly a journey, one that often begins as early as 5 years old at Ski & Snowboard Club Vail.

Complimentary Try the Club Days

Any youngster who will be 6 years old by next season (8 for snowboarders and freeskiers) and is able to comfortably ski with poles or ride on Golden Peak and get on and off the chairlift without assistance, may spend a day with Ski & Snowboard Club Vail kids and coaches at Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s complimentary Try the Club Days. This is a way to sample the club, learning more about Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s season long programs in anticipation of joining the club next season. Try the Club Days are very often the gateway to joining Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s Future Stars Programs.

Future Stars Programs

The Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Future Stars Programs develop ski and snowboard skills in children as young as 6 years old (8 years old for freeskiers and snowboarders) in a fun and challenging season long progression introducing competition through participation in the complimentary Steadman Clinic Vail Cup competition series.

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The Future Stars Program exposes skiers to alpine racing, freeski park and pipe and freestyle moguls in a season long Saturday only program. Sunday add-on days are available to allow concentration in the specific sport areas as well as coaching for the Vail Cup. Snowboarders are exposed to boardercross, park, pipe and mini-big air through our Mini-Shreds Future Stars Program.

This broad exposure at an early age allows youngsters to build skills, experience the full variety of snow sports and begin to find their passion for a particular discipline.

Other part-timE programs

Every child matures mentally and physically at a slightly different pace, as does their desire to concentrate on a particular discipline. Ski & Snowboard Club Vail provides training and competition programming for young snowsports athletes for a variety of ages, interests and ability levels.

New this year through the support of Alpine Bank, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail introduced the Alpine Bank Get in the Gates Recreational Race Program. This low-cost season-long program allows both children and adults to run gates in slalom and giant slalom, receive some coaching and improve their skills.

Each path allows a child to learn more about their potential at their own pace, develop friendships and a lifelong passion for their sport and acquire the very best skiing and riding skills along the way in the appropriate part-time, season long training and competition setting.

Full-Time Athletics and Academic Partners

When a child’s passion for their snowsport ignites, so does the need to provide them with more time on snow along with more time developing the physical and mental attributes needed to achieve their dreams, all the while remaining focused on their academics. This is the point in the journey when Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s full-time athlete program and it Academic Partners come into play. Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy (the first public ski and snowboard academy in the country which is dedicated to Ski & Snowboard Club Vail full-time athletes in grades 5-12), Vail Mountain School (a kindergarten through 12th-grade independent school) and Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Winter Tutorial provide academic options to our full-time athletes.

Once admitted as a full-time athlete, opportunities for year-round on-snow training, strength training and conditioning, sports psychology, nutrition counseling, and, for our acrobatics athletes, trampoline and water ramps become part of the regular routine.


Through its Opportunity Fund, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail seeks to ensure that any child wishing to pursue their dream in snowsports can reach their potential regardless of their means. The Opportunity Fund is designed to not only cover a large percentage of Ski & Snowboard Club Vail program fees, but also provide support for advancement.

Where does this journey take our kids?

Regardless of where the journey takes our athletes, with so many paths to choose from, one thing is for certain. A focused youngster will remain healthy of mind and body and go on to succeed in their adult life, carrying with them the character, courage and commitment they developed through the vehicle of competitive snowsports. Any journey that takes our children “here” is certainly a journey worth taking.

Ski & Snowboard Club Vail conducts Try the Club Free days for prospective members on Sunday for freestyle (moguls), March 14 for Alpine and March 22 for freeski and snowboard. An opportunity to try the Nordic program will be available early next season. For enrollment and full-time athlete admissions information, as well as information about SSCV’s Academic Partners, please contact Sharon Schmidt at

Aldo Radamus is the executive director of Ski & Snowboard Club Vail. For more information, go to, email or call 970-790-5161.

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